You may want to call this a sequel to my article titled ‘Never conceal your ignorance’ but I consider it necessary to share this insightful experience with you. I did say in the article mentioned earlier that you have to be humble enough to ask questions and show willingness to learn rather than proving a point.
I have a desk top computer in my home office that I sometimes like to use for most of my writings. It has helped to churn out a lot of the articles you will find on my blog but somewhere along the line, it began to give me some problems. I opened it up, because I know something about computers, having leant from one of my uncles, to see what could be wrong. I tried everything I knew but the problem was only half solved.
Sometimes the system would not come on immediately and it may take more than ten minutes to get it ready so that I can use it for an article already boiling on my mind. I would press the power button repeatedly in some cases before it will come up. All the time when it finally came up, I had to keep resetting the system timer. Whenever I had to use the internet, I would not be able to visit most of the sites I wanted to because the computer will complain about the security certificate of the sites. This went on for a long time until I got tired of the computer itself.
At some point I thought about selling it off or giving it out to someone who desperately needs a computer and will gladly take whatever it was that came his way. Just while thinking about all this, I decided to eat my humble pie, as I have done repeatedly to get things done. I spoke with a friend who’s more familiar with the entire computer system and can tell you what the problem is just by describing how your system is behaving. He simply told me to change the CMOS battery. What! Just the CMOS battery? I had to admit that it could be the battery because I had seen a few error messages but never imagined the impact the small battery could have on my computer. But how can the CMOS battery stop me from getting into most of the websites I need to check out and work on? The time on my system was not up to date and it was that same battery that was responsible for keeping the time up to date!
If you don’t know the CMOS battery, it’s a flat battery that looks like the batteries you will find in some calculators or the remote of car MP3 players. It’s cheap and easy to get but the interesting thing was that I had an extra battery lying on my home office desk! It was there all along and it was the solution that I needed but I never knew.
This simply taught me a number of lessons and they include:
The problem can be a lot simpler than you imagined.
If you don’t ask you will never know.
The solution might also be around you, just as mine was on my desk, and you will be looking elsewhere for the solution.
Impatience can magnify your ignorance. If I had been patient enough to read through the long error message the system was giving, I would have seen and resolved the problem.
Negligence also magnifies your ignorance. In all honesty, I saw the CMOS battery as one of the errors but I neglected it because I didn’t think its impact on my system could be that much!
The last and the most important here is that you must be surrounded by people who know more than you in one field or the other. And you should never be intimidated by their knowledge because you also know more in an area, if you have been developing yourself.
This simple experience has made my work a lot easier in so many ways and also saved me some time. Keep learning and remember that ignorance is not an asset. There is no point concealing it and you have to be humble enough to learn from others so that you will be more productive.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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